Category: Innovation

The Devil is in the Design Details: Strategies to Enhance Transit Experience

I live in a region that is nationally known for its traffic congestion.  In virtually every poll, newspaper article, or blog on the topic (google “DC region traffic congestion” for proof), the DC metro area is up in the ranks.  Somewhat under the radar are the initiatives taking place throughout the region to provide viable

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Bright Spots in Community Engagement: Philadelphia – “Civic Fusion” at Work

This is the first post in a blog series highlighting communities that were profiled in the forthcoming Knight Foundation and NLC joint report, Bright Spots in Community Engagement. The report showcases 14 U.S. communities that are building greater civic participation and engagement from the bottom up. “My belief is that if we keep helping these

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Cities Kick-Start Innovation

Context matters in rankings, whether it is for universities, sports teams or cities. Columbus, Ohio and Medellin, Columbia, are two cities that were recently singled out for recognition. In the case of Medellin the title bestowed was Innovative City of the Year by Citi Group, The Wall Street Journal and the Urban Land Institute. Columbus

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State of the Cities 2013: Cities Lead. No Questions Asked.

These days there always seems to be some sort of crisis on Capitol Hill.  The debt ceiling, sequestration, and the “fiscal cliff” are all part of the national vocabulary now.  As citizens of the United States, we are often frustrated when our hopes and visions for the country are sidelined by partisan bickering and gridlock

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Building for the Future in an Uncertain Present: State of the Cities 2013

“Synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When applied to finding new solutions to the challenges we face in building a community, this requires an inclusive process that seeks input and ideas from many people. In doing so, we can generate new and better ways of doing business.” On

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Progress Sustainability Through Local Partnerships

We often hear that local governments struggle to implement sustainability programs because they lack the capacity and the funding to do so. In a time when every penny really does count, this issue hits home for small—and large—city governments alike.   However, while budget and staffing issues are no doubt a reality for sustainability offices throughout

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The Latest in Economic Development

This week’s blog discusses an innovative, localized way to fund local development projects, two regions focused on mutually beneficial cooperation, an NPR story on insourcing, and the startup culture between the coasts. Comment below or send to common@nlc.org. Get the last edition of “The Latest in Economic Development.” “Why couldn’t people in the community invest

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Dropout Reengagement Network Progress & Challenges

This week’s convening of the NLC Dropout Reengagement Network in Denver provides a chance to recognize progress in a rapidly growing field – and acknowledge key challenges going forward. Perhaps most notably, the Network that meets this week is twice as extensive as it was last year. It’s inspiring to see additional cities start centers, including Dubuque and Davenport,

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Financing Postsecondary Success

Most city policy and thought leaders can agree on the importance of increasing postsecondary credentialing rates, in the context of broader economic, workforce, and talent development strategies.  Many cities are knocking on NLC’s door asking, “how to?” Strive’s Collective Impact approach is spreading, and typically embraces postsecondary success goals and indicators. But, communities are only

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From Miracle to PACT

Two words notably missing from the Building Peace in Boston mobile workshop of the 2012 NLC Congress of Cities: Miracle, and Ceasefire. Twenty years ago, Boston and indeed the nation celebrated a community-police collaboration that brought the number of youth homicides to zero for two years running. Some called this the Boston Miracle; some called

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